Gil Gerard

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Gil Gerard
Gerard at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 17, 2009
Born (1943-01-23) January 23, 1943 (age 81)
EducationUniversity of Central Arkansas (withdrawn)
Years active1970–present
Known forBuck Rogers in the 25th Century
Spouse(s)First two wives, (1960s–1970s)
Connie Sellecca
(m. 1979–87, divorced)
Bobi Leonard
(m. 1987–89, divorced)

Gil Gerard (born January 23, 1943) is an American actor, whose roles include Captain William "Buck" Rogers in the 1979–81 television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Early life[edit]

Gerard was born January 23, 1943, in Little Rock, Arkansas,[2] to a college instructor mother and a salesman father.[3] In 1960, he attended Maryknoll Seminary in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and played the title role in an all-male production of The Music Man. He graduated from Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys,[4] and later attended the University of Central Arkansas but dropped out before graduation.[3]


Gerard traveled to New York City, where he studied drama by day and drove a taxicab at night. Gerard picked up a fare who showed a lively interest in the problems of unknown, unemployed actors. Before he left the cab, he told Gerard to report in a few days to the set of Love Story, which was being filmed on location in New York. When Gerard arrived on the Love Story set, he was hired as an extra. Later that day, he was singled out for a "bit" part, but he was not included in the finished film.[citation needed]

During the next few years, he did most of his acting in television commercials, almost 400, including a stint as spokesman for the Ford Motor Company. After small roles in the gay-themed film Some of My Best Friends Are... (1971), and the thriller Man on a Swing (1974), Gerard gained a prominent role in the daytime soap opera The Doctors for two years. Gerard formed his own production company in partnership with a writer-producer, co-authored a screenplay called Hooch (1977) and filmed it as a starring vehicle for himself. With Hooch completed, he traveled to California to co-star with Yvette Mimieux in Ransom for Alice! (1977) and to play Lee Grant's youthful lover in Universal's Airport '77 (1977). He appeared in a 1977 episode of Hawaii Five-O ("The Ninth Step") as Marty Cobb, a former cop and recovering alcoholic. A guest appearance in Little House on the Prairie impressed producer-star Michael Landon, who cast him in the leading role in the 1978 TV movie Killing Stone.

Gerard then landed his best-known role, as Captain William "Buck" Rogers in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which ran from 1979-81, with the feature-length pilot episode being released theatrically some months prior to the first broadcast of the series. After this, he was featured in a number of other TV shows and movies, including starring roles in the 1982 TV movie Hear No Evil as Dragon,[5][6][7] the short-lived series Sidekicks (1986) and E.A.R.T.H. Force (1990).[1]

In 1992, Gerard hosted the reality TV series Code 3, which followed firefighters from different areas of the US as they responded to emergency calls. The show ran on the Fox TV Network until the following year. For the remainder of the 1990s, Gerard made guest appearances on various TV shows, including Fish Police, Brotherly Love, The Big Easy, Days of Our Lives and Pacific Blue.

In January 2007, Gerard was the subject of the one-hour documentary Action Hero Makeover, which was written, produced and directed by his then-longtime companion, Adrienne Crow for the Discovery Health Channel. The film documented his year-long progress after undergoing life-saving mini-gastric bypass surgery in October 2005. According to the program, he had been struggling with his weight for 40 years, losing weight only to gain it back.[8] By the time of the program's production, his weight had risen to over 350 pounds (159 kg), and he had many life-threatening health problems including a severe problem with type 2 diabetes. Within five days of the surgery he had lost 20 lb (9 kg), within three months he had lost 80 lb (36 kg), and within ten months he lost a total of 145 lb (66 kg).[9]

Gerard and his Buck Rogers co-star Erin Gray reunited in 2007 for the TV film Nuclear Hurricane, and also returned to the Buck Rogers universe by playing the characters' parents in the pilot episode of James Cawley's Buck Rogers Begins Internet video series in 2009.[10]

Gerard guest-starred as Admiral Jack Sheehan in "Kitumba", the January 1, 2014, episode of the fan web series Star Trek: Phase II.[11][12]

In 2015, Gerard voiced Megatronus in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.

Personal life[edit]

Gerard in 2011

By the end of the 1980s, Gerard had been married and divorced four times. His first marriage, in the 1960s to a secretary in his home state of Arkansas, lasted just eight months. After moving to New York to pursue his acting ambitions, his second marriage to a bank executive was equally troubled though lasted (on and off) for seven years. Following his move to Los Angeles in the late 1970s, he married model/actress Connie Sellecca in 1979. Their son, Gilbert Vincent Gerard, or "Gib", was born in 1981. Their seven-year marriage began to disintegrate following the cancellation of Gerard's show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and his increasing addictions to drugs, alcohol, and overeating. The marriage was formally dissolved in 1987, following a bitter custody battle which gave Sellecca main custody of their son. Gerard married again the same year, to interior designer Bobi Leonard, though the marriage lasted only a year and was then formally dissolved in 1989.[1]

Gerard has been frank about his battle with addictions. Although he went through recovery for his addiction to cocaine and alcohol, following his divorce from Sellecca in the mid 1980s, his compulsive eating habits increased and he would find himself devouring unhealthy portions of junk food. By 1988, he weighed 300 lb (136 kg) and used a self-help treatment for his addiction, though he estimated that his weight problem had cost him work opportunities in the region of a million dollars. By 1990, he weighed 220 lb (100 kg).[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Some of My Best Friends Are... Scott
1974 Man on a Swing Donald Forbes
1977 Airport '77 Frank Powers
1977 Hooch Eddie Joe
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Capt. William "Buck" Rogers
1985 Fury to Freedom Officer
1991 Soldier's Fortune Robert E. Lee Jones Alternative title: Soldiers of Fortune
1996 Looking for Bruce Richard
1998 Mom, Can I Keep Her? Reinhart Direct-to-video
1999 Fugitive Mind Karl Gardner Direct-to-video
2000 The Stepdaughter Jesse Conner Direct-to-video
2001 Air Rage Victor Quinn Direct-to-video
2007 Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre! Narrator (voice) Short film
2009 Dire Wolf Col. Hendry Alternative title: Dino Wolf
2012 Blood Fare Professor Meade
2014 Boldly Gone Ben (voice) Short film
2016 The Nice Guys Bergen Paulsen
2016 Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel Harold Harris


Year Title Role Notes
1973–76 The Doctors Dr. Alan Stewart 162 episodes
1976 Baretta Steve Episode - "Dear Tony"
1977 Ransom for Alice! Clint Kirby TV movie
1977 Little House on the Prairie Chris Nelson Episode - "The Handyman"
1977 Hawaii Five-O Marty Cobb Episode - "The Ninth Step"
1978 Killing Stone Gil Stone TV movie
1979–81 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Captain William "Buck" Rogers 37 episodes
1982 Help Wanted: Male Johnny Gillis TV movie
1982 Not Just Another Affair Bob Gifford TV movie
1982 Hear No Evil Dragon TV movie
1983 Johnny Blue Johnny Blue TV pilot episode
1984 For Love or Money Mike TV movie
1984 Monsters, Madmen & Machines Host Documentary
1985 Stormin' Home Bobby Atkins TV movie
1985 International Airport David Montgomery TV movie
1986–87 Sidekicks Sergeant Jake Rizzo 23 episodes
1989 Nightingales Dr. Paul Petrillo 5 episodes
1989 Final Notice Harry Stoner TV movie
1990 E.A.R.T.H. Force Dr. John Harding 6 episodes
1992 Fish Police Additional Voices Unknown episodes
1996 Brotherly Love Big Mike Episode - "Big Mike"
1997 The Big Easy Mickey Donelley Episode - "A Perfect Day for Buffalo Fish"
1997 Days of Our Lives Major Dodd Unknown episodes
1998 Pacific Blue Raymond Annandale Episode - "Double Lives"
2006 Beyond General Walter North TV movie
2007 Nuclear Hurricane Bob TV movie
2008 Bone Eater Big Jim Burns TV movie
2009 Reptisaurus General Morgenstern TV movie
2009 Ghost Town Preacher McCready TV movie
2011 The Lost Valentine Neil Thomas Robinson Jr. TV movie
2013 Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II Admiral Sheehan Episode - "Kitumba"
2014 Drop Dead Diva George Blund Episode - "Hope and Glory"
2015 Transformers: Robots in Disguise Megatronus (voice) 3 episodes


General references[edit]

  • Terrace, Vincent (1985). Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials. Vol. 2 (1st ed.). New York City: Zoetrope Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 978-0918432612.
  • Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). New York City: McFarland and Company. p. 445. ISBN 978-0786464777.

Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Reed, JD; Alexander, Michael (October 15, 1990). "Stranded in Orbit by His Addictions, Former Buck Rogers Gil Gerard Battles His Way Back to E.A.R.T.H." People. 34 (15). Meredith Corporation: 95.
  2. ^ "Gil Gerard". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Kalter, Suzy (April 30, 1979). "Arkansas Politics Were Too Small a Pond for Gil Gerard, but Is Buck Rogers Better?". People. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  4. ^ "CHS Foundation and Alumni Association". Little Rock High School for Boys. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Terrace 1985, p. 188.
  6. ^ "Hear No Evil". Turner Classic Movies. United States: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Terrace 2011, p. 445.
  8. ^ DuBois, Stephanie (March 8, 1989). "Thinner Gerard back on course". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Tribune Media Services. p. C2.
  9. ^ "Mini Gastric Bypass. The Center for Laparoscopic Obesity Surgery". Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  10. ^ McKinstry, Lohr. "Buck Rogers returns", Press Republican, 9 November 2009.
  11. ^ Vic Mignogna (director). "4x08 Star Trek Phase II: Kitumba - Download". Star Trek: Phase II. January 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Star Trek Phase 2: "Kitumba" - Episode 4x08". YouTube. December 31, 2013.

External links[edit]